Presented Wednesday, April 28 at the Quarry Farm Barn. Judith Yaross Lee is Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies and Charles E. Zumkehr Professor of Rhetoric & Culture in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University. A contributor to the Mark Twain Encyclopedia and the Oxford Mark Twain, she is the author or editor of five books and some fifty essays and articles on American humor and related topics, most recently Twain’s Brand: Humor in Contemporary American Culture, as well as editor of Studies in American Humor, the journal of the American Humor Studies Association.
Amid the exuberant humor of time travel and technological incongruity in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) lies a story about imperialism, as the Yankee outsider Hank Morgan remakes sixth century Britain in the mold of nineteenth-century industrial America. Judith Yaross Lee explores the interplay of biographical experience and imagination along with international politics and American comic traditions in shaping Mark Twain’s last major novel.